It wasn’t a fair fight from the start. The idea of a young shepherd paired against a fierce, accomplished, giant warrior, seemed crazy. Every day, someone is outmatched, desperate, and needs a miracle. That day comes for us all. Studying improbable heroes facing impossible situations helps prepare us for our day. The day’s events began humbly, young David’s father charged him with a servant’s errand. He had to bring to bread, cheese, and roasted grain (Pizza? Chips and queso?) to his soldier brothers and their commander at the frontlines. The brothers (and probably their friends) ridiculed and belittled their little brother, shepherd David. Why would today be any different? 1 Samuel 17:28 Something else took center stage for the young warrior on this particular day in 1 Samuel Chapter 17.
David said, “For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”1 Samuel 17:28
Young David declared to King Saul that he would fight and win against the nine-foot-tall champion warrior Goliath. David’s decision to use his own sling and some stones from the creek instead of traditional armor puzzled King Saul. The king even offered young David his tunic, personal, armor, and sword to use to fight the giant. David concluded that he couldn’t use the king’s armor because he hadn’t tested it. 1 Samuel 17: 38 How many times do we try to tackle a challenge using someone else’s techniques? We need to remember our victories, and how we win according to our individual strengths. When King Saul met David with Goliath’s strengths and statistics, David responded with God’s strength and statistics. He remembered and stated how God helped him kill the lion and the bear when defending is sheep, and will help him kill Goliath the same way.
33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.”1 Samuel 17:33
Distractions and Rewards
How tempting and gratifying would it have been for David to parade in front of his brothers dressed in the king’s tunic and armor? He couldn’t allow himself to get distracted by having to prove himself to critics and naysayers. No amount of reason, mental assent, armor, not even the king’s armor, could protect him. He needed a miracle, and you don’t get those by showing off. Those precious moments were for strategizing. The rewards were great wealth, no taxes, (hallelujah), and marriage to the king’s daughter? Was he tempted to put a mental puzzle together on his road to a prophesied kingship? Although David verbally emphasized the rewards, he couldn’t allow even the rewards to distract him. He had a battle to win.
37 And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”1 Samuel 17:37
Comparison, Pride, and Worth
David had come from field-training, literally. For years, he learned to lead, to care for, and to protect his father’s flock of sheep from powerful enemies. David drew confidence from his personal life and death battles with lions and bears (Oh my) from his time alone in the field protecting sheep. Goliath was the greatest opponent he had ever fought and the stakes were higher then they’ve ever been. David would eventually emerge as king to lead, care for, and to protect God’s people as he did his father’s sheep. He spent years being looked down on, underestimated, ridiculed, and often forgotten by his own family. This battle was a test for his next level. He not only had to fight Goliath, but also pride, and the need to prove his worth, or his calling to others who doubted him.
How To Use A Sling
It’s Not About Strength
David would have never won had he taken that sword to this sword fight. Goliath outmatched him in size, strength, ferocity, and experience. However, David had expert training with the sling in fighting and killing opponents who were stronger, faster, and more ferocious than he. I googled how to use a sling. See the video above. The sling isn’t reliant on muscle, it would give him the distance of possibly 1,300 ft. David had to keep a distance from Goliath’s sword, and the javelin. This sling allowed for his shortcomings and gave him many advantages, but it wasn’t sufficient in itself. Young David wasn’t taking a knife to a sword fight, he was taking a sling to a swordfight. The power of God infused this sling and these stones.
“46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. …that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.”1 Samuel 13:46
Our Own Lions and Bears
No one sees our lions and bears that we fight within our own isolated fields. Although we may feel insignificant even looked down upon, or disrespected by others, God is building a warrior within us. How encouraging is it that everything we face even the seemingly mundane can be training ground for our more significant victories? While we take care of our responsibilities, God uses our daily challenges to train us for our upcoming battles. Like David, as we face new giants, let’s remind ourselves how God helped us before, and how he is fully capable of doing it again. Instead of allowing our lack or other’s judgments to affect us, let’s pick up our slings and run to the battle, for the battle is God’s.
” Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle”Psalm 144:1
Love and Blessings,